- Duration3 weeks
- Weekly study4 hours
- 100% onlineLearn at your own pace
- Extra BenefitsFrom $64
An Anthropology of Smartphones: Communication, Ageing and Health
Discover digital anthropology and the relationship between technology and ageing
This course will develop your understanding of the concept of digital anthropology as you explore how smartphones have transformed our daily lives and how they can be used productively.
Learn how smartphones have changed our lives
Through ethnographic research findings, you’ll explore the potential consequences of using a smartphone every day.
You’ll examine the effect of smartphones on human relationships and participation in cultural life, as well as touch upon the current use and future potential of smartphones in the health and medical sector.
Understand the concept of smart ageing and the relationship between older people and technology
Smartphones are no longer a youth technology. They play a significant role in intergenerational relations and define ageing in the digital era. You’ll learn about the issues older people encounter when using smartphones and how technology has shaped models of ageing.
Using the latest research, you’ll find out more about ageing in different global contexts and learn how technology is shaping and changing the experience of ageing.
Discover the effect of smartphone use through the lens of digital anthropology
The course demonstrates the potential of anthropology as a discipline and will introduce you to the technicalities of using comparative anthropology as a method of research.
It also includes several new anthropological perspectives on the use of the smartphone and its impact on people’s lives.
Explore digital anthropology with UCL’s expert team
UCL is a leading research hub in the area of digital anthropology. You’ll access the latest research and insights from UCL’s expert academics on fascinating anthropological concepts and issues, including digital health and ageing.
Week 1 - What are smartphones and how have they changed our lives?
- Smartphone use: the wider context
- The smartphone as an object
- Material issues that affect smartphone use
- The smartphone as a ‘transportal home’
- From apps to everyday life
- Screen and social ecology.
Week 2 - Ageing
- Age and the new digital divide
- Ageing today
- What do smartphones do for older people?
- Intergenerational relations
- Learning to use smartphones
Week 3 - Smartphones and health
- An alternative approach to mHealth
- Use of mHealth in different fieldsites
- Smartphones and health services
- Smartphones and access to health information
- Adapting ordinary apps for health purposes
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- how smartphones affect everything in people’s lives from their relationships to participation in cultural life through an anthropological lens.
- with and evaluate the cultural and social contexts of mobile health through ethnography.
- how discourses about ageing manifest in different global contexts, as well as how ageing is being redefined in the digital era
- different anthropological methodologies such as participant observation and holistic contextualisation, especially from a collaborative and comparative perspective.
Who is the course for?
This course is designed for people who are interested in understanding how the use of smartphones has changed our lives, as well as students keen to explore the contribution of anthropology to digital technologies.
What software or tools do you need?
To take part in this course, all you will need is the ability to do some digital anthropology, whether that is done on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or any other devices. You do not need any specific software to complete the course.
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